LinkedIn reportedly has over 575 million members worldwide and is the top social media channel for business networking and sales prospecting. Virtually all Fortune 500 execs are on LinkedIn and over 74% of them are signing in to their accounts daily.
This type of engagement helps to explain why LinkedIn generates more leads than Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, driving the highest B2B conversion rates of any other social network. What’s more, LinkedIn has developed a Social Selling Index (SSI) as a performance metric. According to LinkedIn, social selling:
- creates 45% more sales opportunities
- makes you 51% more likely to hit your quota
- allows you to outsell peers who don’t use social media by 78%
Despite this overwhelming data, many sales professionals are failing in meeting even a base line when creating or updating their profiles. Below are 5 best practices to ensure your LinkedIn profile is optimized for selling success:
- Your headline is a mini value proposition: Your LinkedIn headline is one of the most visible sections of your LinkedIn profile according to JobScan. “It stretches across the top of your profile page, is attached to your news feed posts, and is displayed under you name in other users’ “People You May Know” sections. Whether it’s being viewed by your business contacts, prospective sales leads, or a corporate recruiter, your LinkedIn headline is key to making a positive impression and explaining exactly what you bring to the table.”
- Your LinkedIn profile really does need a photo: Profiles with pictures elicit a 40% InMail response rate. And more so, profiles without pictures are considered a red flag. And please – make sure your picture is flattering and professional. Like your headline, it will follow you across the network and across the internet.
- Include your contact information: List your email address, phone number, Twitter handle, blog and company website . Make it as easy as possible for prospects to get in touch with you.
- Display visual content in your summary: Adding media such as video, audio, images and slide-decks is an effective way of helping your profile stand out and get noticed, while positioning you as an expert in your space. Unforunately, less than half of all LinkedIn users use this functionality.
- Get recommendations: According to Forbes, recommendations, skills and endorsements are a way of “demonstrating social proof on LinkedIn for you and your abilities”. Because LinkedIn allows you to screen recommendations before approving them for your profile page, no bad recommendations have to appear, so this is a no brainer.
Create a vanity URL: Customizing your public profile URL makes you easier to find and it boosts credibility (users will think you’re detail oriented, technically savvy, a person to take seriously) Customize your URL here: www.linkedin.com/yourname.